A Critical Review: Effects of Leadership and Leader-Member Exchange on Commitment

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A Critical Review: Effects of Leadership and Leader-Member Exchange on Commitment Article by: Jean Lee
(Leadership & Organization Development Journal)

It has been long proven and established that leadership and success of an organization are proportional. The phenomenal growth of leader-member exchange (LMX) research aims to study the diverse attributes of individuals in response to different leadership behaviors. In this regards, the author Jean Lee conducted a research linking the triangle relationship of Leadership ' LMX ' Commitment, wherein to date few research in this area have been quantified. Past literature show only the effect of leadership on organizational outcomes with respect to innovation process, project performance, effectiveness and success. However, studies show that the effect of leadership on employees’ organizational commitment plays an important role in ensuring the Return On Investment (ROI) in R&D centers. The chosen backdrop of the study is in Singapore, where a total of 201 businesses focusing on R&D were studied. Singapore was the choice for they recorded a steady growth of 10% among research scientist and engineers every year. As Singapore is one of the advance countries in the South-East-Asian region, the choice is wise and commendable as both the first world and second world countries can benefit from this study.

The paper is broken down into the usual introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion and conclusion. While the style of writing is purely academic, the way the paper guides readers to understand the content of the paper through the eyes of laymen would allow for the paper to be well received by interested readers. The paper is well written, clear and is straight to the point with a cleverly written abstract that summarizes the paper well. The paper’s is built around strong and solid research works by many papers from as early as Bass’s multi-leadership theory in 1985 to Rowden’s work on commitment and charismatic leadership in 2000. While one might argue that there are 4 years of unrepresented research as the submission date is in August 2004, the paper’s work still boast strong research work of famous papers in the field of leadership theory. It is through these references that the paper made eleven hypotheses with regards to leadership-LMX exchange, leadership-commitment and LMX-commitment. From these hypotheses, the paper targets to prove these hypotheses from his research in Singapore R&D centers.

The paper used a variety of methods to collect, compile and analyze his data. Data was collected using Bass and Avolio’s multifactor’ leadership questionnaire (MLQ) Form 5X. Bass and Avolio have themselves conducted many studies on leadership and their pronounced work include the multi-factor leadership theory within which three leadership behavioral domains were introduced: the laissez faire leader, the transactional leader and the transformational leader. Laissez faire being synonymous to liberal describes a leader that takes non active participation in the leadership role. Transactional leader defines a leader that works based on a transaction. Like any economic system, there will be a fair exchange. The more the employee contributes the more he will be rewarded and vice versa. Finally the transformational leader actively participates in dyadic exchanges with the subordinates wherein interpersonal relations are formed with the intent of making the relationship based on mutual understanding. Once the paper managed to get a good breakdown of the different leadership roles experienced at the R&D centers, the paper further quantified the quality of the leader-follower relationships of these different leadership roles. This was measured using the multidimensional model of leader-member exhange (LMX-MDM) scale. The LMX-MDM is the birth child of Liden and Masylyn. Their intention was straightforward; to create an empirical assessment of multidimension LMX....
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